Live bluegrass and folk music once again have a home on Walden's Ridge with the revitalization of the Mountain Opry, which premieres in its new location at the Mountain Arts Community Center on Saturday from 6-9 p.m.
Previously held every Friday at the Walden's Ridge Civic Center before ending its 40-year run in March, the new Mountain Opry is held the last Saturday of the month and organized by musicians who grew up playing on the original Mountain Opry stage.
"It's where I learned how to play music; it's where I learned how to talk to a crowd," said Cody Harvey, who is part of the group revitalizing the Mountain Opry — headed up by his father, Mike Harvey — and a member of Mountain Cove Bluegrass Band, which got its start playing the Mountain Opry. "When we heard about its closing, we just couldn't let the Mountain Opry be another victim of COVID."
The new Mountain Opry will be a little different from the original, which was done entirely in an open mic format. Now it will begin with two scheduled bands, followed by an hourlong open mic session, he said.
While Harvey has a deep love for the old location, he said the recently remodeled MACC features a new sound system, new lighting, a courtyard and plenty of classroom space for musicians to jam.
On Sept. 26 the scheduled performers are Mountain Cove Bluegrass Band and Track 145.
Doors open at 6 p.m., and attendees may begin signing up at 6:30 p.m. to play during the open mic hour.
No tickets are sold, but a $5 donation is requested.
Due to the pandemic, only 50 people are allowed in the auditorium and admission is first come, first served. Masks are required and social distancing is observed, Harvey said.
The Mountain Arts Community Center is at 809 Kentucky Ave. in Signal Mountain. Those who cannot attend in person can watch a livestream of the performances on both the Mountain Opry and the Mountain Cove Bluegrass Band Facebook pages.
Contact Emily Crisman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6508. Follow her on Twitter @emcrisman.
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